Pastor Anderson and the Historical Jesus

For fifteen years I wondered if Steven Anderson would sermonize on the historical Jesus, and he finally got around to it.

The good:

  • He admits there is zero archaeological evidence for Jesus and no first-century writings about him (outside the bible). He accepts the Josephus passage as a forgery.
  • He slams the criteria — multiple attestation, dissimilarity, embarrassment — as useless, especially the latter two, oddly echoing the opinions of scholars he disdains (Allison, Goodacre, etc).
  • He ridicules the scholarly love-affair with Lukan stories like the Prodigal Son and Good Samaritan, which not only fail the criteria but are a projection of modern liberal values.

The bad:

  • He says the lack of evidence for Jesus outside the bible is according to God’s plan: God wanted it this way, so that the only record of Jesus in the first century was the divine record. If people want to learn about Jesus, God wants them to learn from the proper holy source and none other.
  • His overview of the three quests is horrible.
  • He believes that Thomas Jefferson is burning in hell for his Jefferson Bible, since Jefferson “removed God’s words” (Rev 22:19); for that matter, hellfire awaits those who have served on translation committees for anything other than the King James Bible.

The humorous:

  • He makes fun of the Mandela Effect (shooting fish in a barrel), since human memory is fallible. But he is unwilling to extend the principle of fallible memory to the gospel writers.

In a nutshell:

  • There is only one Jesus — the Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — and it’s a package deal. That’s the true historical Jesus, according to King James fundamentalism.

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